I am a UK citizen married to an American citizen and we would like it if my wife could come and live in the UK with me. I have just finished a degree in Biomedical science and wish to pursue a PhD, therefore I couldn’t earn the 18,600 that is required.

My grandparents are downsizing their house and offered to give me my inheritance early to allow my wife to come to the UK and for me to finish my education, this will be in the region of £60,000. That combined with my own savings would satisfy the savings requirement. The money would be straight cash, no mortgaging or loans involved. I’m concerned that immigration will think we are trying to cheat the system by a) getting the money early and b) getting a lump sum of 60k deposited in my bank.

Even though I would be receiving the money early, I would still be getting it whether I was with my wife or not, just at a later date. Do you think this will result in refusal?

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any advice


Referring to the rules in the Financial Requirement document published by the Home Office, we look at chapter 7: "Cash savings", and (7.1) tells us that:

  • the first £16,000 doesn't count - so only savings over this amount can be included in the calculations
  • income from certain (not all) other sources can be combined with savings in order to meet the requirement
  • some other points not immediately relevant to your situation

The calculations are described in (7.2) and for your initial entry clearance application the one you'll need to use is:

(x minus 16,000) divided by 2.5 = y 

where x is the amount of cash savings, and y is the number which counts towards the financial requirement.

After 30 months in the UK you will apply for indefinite leave to remain and at that point the calculation becomes:

(x minus 16,000) = y 

But that's not relevant to you right now.

On page 48 there's a table with some example numbers plugged into the first formula and as you can see, in order to meet the financial requirement with savings alone you will need £62,500.

You've written in your question that, in addition your own savings, you hope to receive about £60,000 in the form of an early inheritance / gift and there's nothing wrong with that, as long as you comply with the rules listed under (7.4).
The one particular part which may trip you up is the requirement that the money has been held in your bank account for at least the 6 months prior to the date of application.

  • 1
    Thank you very much, yes we will end up on about 65k with my savings too. We have come to terms with the 6 months wait before applications, in the grand scheme of things its a short period of time! Just didn’t know if it was suspect even though we are being totally legit. Thanks again!
    – forfars
    Jun 4 '18 at 18:52

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